Discovering Shochu – Episode 15 – Emphasizing Product Attributes

Honkaku Shochu offers unique and delicious flavors found nowhere else in the world of distilled liquors, and is garnering a strong following in the international market.  Nowhere else is Koji used during the brewing process, added to that, the meticulous distilling and aging procedures at the high standards Japan in known for. As Japan’s National Alcoholic Beverage and a world class distilled white liquor, Honkaku Shochu stands in a league of its own.


Good Communication to Increase Sales:

To better promote the marvel of this still relatively untried liquor, there are many simple and succinct descriptions that can entice trial through improved communication:  flavor characteristics, serving recommendations, food paring picks.  Simple words and phrases can specifically describe aroma and flavor highlighting the main base ingredient of Honkaku Shochu.  Further, there are other finer attributes that can express texture, sweetness, acidity, bitterness, Umami and aftertaste.  Employing better communication can positively convey the allure and captivate new Honkaku Shochu fans.


Refining the Product Proposition:

When describing the characteristics, be mindful to not use contradictory words or phrases.  For example, if a Honkaku Shochu has “young apple fruit aroma”, it should not be used in conjunction with opposing phrase as “ripe fruit aroma”, “burnt aroma” or “smoky aroma”.  The same rule applies in portraying texture, sweetness, acidity, bitterness and Umami. Further, when these words are compressed into one phrase, the communication takes on a more defined offering.  For example, words such as “refreshing”, “light” and “smooth” when used together, suggest an enhanced profile of the Shochu

On the other hand, brevity is also important.  A two-word or phrase descriptor for aroma and flavor would be a good guideline to follow.  For example, rather than saying “This Shochu has rounded sweetness, mellow acidity, bitterness from spice and full-bodied Umami flavor”, the message can be simplified to highlight only its most important attributes, thus becoming much more impactful:  “This Shochu has rounded sweetness with full-bodied Umami flavor”.